Good points have been made about how much risk you want to take on in kiteboarding. It is a risky sport to begin with and that is ok. It is merely how much risk you want to take on, once you know that you are taking it and the options of avoiding it, if you choose to. All I can toss out are ideas on what may help to avoid going through some of the accidents/incidents that I have read about or experienced. The rest is up to rider to decide and ride the way he will.
Some photos from a soon to be released collection of ideas of one way of launching appear below. Launching unhooked, with the chicken loop tied off is depicted in the following photo. It takes time to develop the judgment to determine how much trim strap and chicken loop to take in and still have a easily flown kite. In more extreme overpowered conditions I wouldn't even attempt doing this as you won't be able to comfortably hold the bar. In riding in such conditions you have already chosen the degree of risk you will fly in and as long as you know that, it is fine. If you launched unhooked and are hit by a strong gust you just let go and allow your tested kite leash to sort things out.
This is a photo of the rider with kite in anti-lofting position, hooking into the fixed harness like to grab her board just before the water. At no time does the kite come anywhere near the zenith while on or near shore.
Copyright 2002 FKA, Inc.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: RickI on 2002-10-30 18:00 ]</font>